The CREATE Coaching Model


A Coaching Model By Alex Chu, Transformational Coach, TAIWAN

The CREATE Model

The CREATE Coaching Model - Alex Chu

The CREATE Coaching Model Meaning


Our clients often come to us with a challenging situation. At the beginning of our coaching relationship with the clients, we explore what they are going through and have a general understanding of their worldview.

  • Determine what you really want

Sometimes the clients get stuck in what they don’t want instead of giving thought to what they really want. It is important at this stage to help the clients clarify what they really want and set a clear and preferably measurable objective for the coaching sessions. The goal should be stated in the positive (e.g. “I want to be more…”, “I want to do more…”) rather than in the negative (e.g. “I want to be less…”, “I want to stop doing…”) since a positive goal will be more motivating and points in a clear direction.

  • Understand your big “Why”

Change requires motivation. It is crucial to understand our clients’ motivation behind their goals. Without a strong enough reason, it will be difficult for our clients to make the necessary but often painful change and take the first step. It is especially true when our clients are facing a dilemma and feel ambivalent toward changing their behavior. As a coach, we can help the clients weigh the pros and cons of making a change at a deeper level by taking into account their beliefs, values, and identities.  The more positive impact it would create when achieving the goal, the more meaningful it is for them to take action, and the stronger motivation and momentum they will have when implementing the action plan.

Reflection & Analyze

After setting the goal for the coaching sessions, we further explore the clients’ psychological barriers to achieving the goal. Robert Dilts, a developer, and trainer in the field of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), proposed a model of NeuroLogical Levels which shapes our relationships and interactions with the world. This model includes 6 levels of learning and change.

  1. Spiritual(Purpose): a sense of being a member of a larger system beyond one’s individual identity
  2. Identity: how an individual sees or values himself/herself
  3. Beliefs and Values: how meaning is given to a result or situation
  4. Capabilities: strategies and skills.
  5. Behavior: specific actions and reactions.
  6. Environment: external context and constraints.

According to Dilts, the function of each level is to synthesize, organize and direct the interactions on the level below it. This NeuroLogical Model is very helpful when we try to understand our clients at a deeper level. 

  • Gain clarity on where you are in relation to your goal

Using this NeuroLogical Level model, we help the client reflect on and analyze how the client’s inner system is interacting with the external reality, including how the environment is affecting the client and what role the client’s behaviors, capabilities, beliefs, values, and identities play in the current challenging situation. We can also understand how achieving the goal can potentially fulfill the client’s beliefs, values, and identities.

  • Identify your internal and external barriers

We help the client identify the internal barriers – limiting beliefs or conflicts between values and identities in terms of achieving the goal. We also need to help the client be aware of the external barriers – how the environment is reinforcing their unwanted behaviors and punishing their wanted behaviors.

Most of the information about our clients in this NeuroLogical Level model cannot be obtained by asking a single coaching question. It all starts with our deep listening to the clients and appreciating their world.


Once we clarify the potential psychological barriers in our clients, we can now work with them to find new inner resources to push through the obstacles and move toward their goals. 

  • Develop a new mindset

Very often the clients’ internal barriers involve conflicting or limiting beliefs, values, and identities. Once we understand the role they play in the challenge, we can help the clients revise their limiting or disempowering beliefs, prioritize their values by ranking them, or redefine their identities in order to become the person they need to be to achieve the goal.

There are two methods that are helpful in helping the client develop a new mindset:

  1. Find a role model. It is helpful for our clients to discover their role models that embody the qualities that are vital to achieving the goal. This will give our clients a vision of how they want their own life to be and what it will take to get there. Role models create inspiration.
  2. Find your strengths and resources from past success. When people focus too much on the current challenge, they often forget how they managed to pull through all the difficult situations in their life. As a coach, we help clients look back at their past success and extract what beliefs, capabilities, and resources can be utilized to help them with the current challenge.
  • Design an effective action plan

Knowing is not enough. It’s the action we take that make the real difference. Life is full of distractions preventing us from achieving our goals. As a coach, we help our clients create an effective action plan that can continuously take them forward and keep them on track.

  1. Gain clarity. Vague or unspecific plans only cause confusion or uncertainty. Be as specific and clear on the action steps as possible. It might be helpful to start planning with why, what, when, where, who, and how so the clients know exactly what their next step looks like. 
  2. Start small. Difficult goals demotivate people. If the clients are aiming for a big goal, set different milestones and make them achievable for the clients. Hitting a milestone can create more momentum for hitting the next one and lead to continuous success.
  3. Track and review progress. What gets measured gets managed. People often lose track of where they are in terms of achieving their goals when they are easily distracted by their busy life and have multiple goals at the same time. Monitoring progress against the goal will help our clients evaluate what needs to be done to stay on track or accelerate the progress.
  4. Prepare for distractions and obstacles. Things are always different from the way we expected them to be. However, we can better manage the difficult situation if we can predict what might get in the way. We can help our clients prepare for the coming challenges based on their experience and resources at hand regarding how to deal with and how to learn from the situation.
  • Build an empowering environment

The external environment is crucial in shaping the client’s perspectives and behaviors. As a coach, we need to help the clients evaluate how people in their environment might respond to the client’s efforts to change. Will the clients’ change be encouraged or discouraged? If the desired outcome is not rewarded in the client’s current environment, we help the clients create a more empowering environment in favor of achieving the goal.


  • Take action and review the results

The clients are now ready to embody a new mindset and take action in an empowering environment. New challenges will arise. We review the results with the clients, revise the goal if needed, identify new internal and external barriers and design new strategies to achieve the goal. The CREATE process is repeated until our clients achieve their goals.

Learn How to Create Your Own Coaching Model

Your Coaching Model reflects your values,
philosophies, and beliefs and must communicate who you will coach
and the problems you will solve.
Read more about creating your coaching model


Dilts, R. (2014). A Brief History of Logical Levels. [online] Available at: [Accessed 17 Nov 2022]

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